Why Are Rockefellers Moving From 30 Rock? ‘We Got a Deal’
Ever since it opened in 1933, a 70-story limestone skyscraper has towered over mid-Manhattan as a symbol of global capitalism and of a prolific American family that remains synonymous with prodigious wealth.
The family patriarch, John D. Rockefeller, was America’s first billionaire, and it was his son, John Jr., who dauntlessly broke ground for 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the midst of the Great Depression. Through it all, into what is now the seventh generation, the Rockefellers’ vast financial and personal empire has been managed by as many as 200 employees from a lofty command post adorned with priceless Impressionist and Modern artwork.
A magnet for pilgrimages by luminaries like Frank Sinatra and Nelson Mandela, the suites once filled three entire floors (the equivalent of about one and a half football fields). Collectively, they were always known humbly and simply as “Room 5600.”
But in 2000, the Rockefellers sold off 30 Rock and nine other landmark Rockefeller Center office buildings in the 22-acre Art Deco complex to Jerry I. Speyer and the Lester Crown family of Chicago, though they retained their presence in the building by keeping one floor as a rented space.
Now, they have decided to leave the building entirely. By this time next year, they will have vacated the 56th-floor aerie they have occupied since 1933 and moved to somewhat less rarefied headquarters across 49th Street.
One of the country’s great dynastic families is downsizing.
Forbes estimates the entire family is worth $10 billion, which would rank it 24th among the nation’s richest families. And while there was one John D., there are now hundreds of Rockefellers.
So in a sizzling real estate market, even the Rockefeller family must worry about the rent.
But like any discreet tenant, David Rockefeller Jr., John D.’s great-grandson, would say only, “We got a deal we are not at liberty to speak about.”